Brad Schmahl Augments Career Journey with High-Performance Leadership Program
Since graduating from Colorado State University’s top-ranked construction management program in 2003, Brad Schmahl’s career in the construction industry has progressed quickly. He started out as a project manager at JHL Constructors, a Colorado company that builds everything from K-12 schools, charter schools and higher education facilities—to office buildings and senior living facilities. “I was very diligent about finding a company with great opportunity for advancement that also shared my core values,” he says.
Soon, it became evident that Schmahl was on the leadership path at JHL—with full support from its executives. While attending a fundraiser for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in 2008, JHL Constructors founder and president, John Hachmeister, bid on the High Performance Leadership (HPL) course at an auction—with Schmahl in mind. “It was an honor that he would think highly enough of me to consider me for such an opportunity, and it was an easy decision to accept that challenge,” Schmahl says. He started the program in November of that year.
The HPL Program is an intensive eight-week academic program for experienced professionals seeking to build upon their leadership abilities in order to take on more critical challenges in their positions. Dubbed a “mini MBA,” the program draws from the Daniels Executive MBA (EMBA). In small cohorts, students bond at an initial experiential three-day course in the mountains—delving into topics such as ethical decision making and creating great teams.
For Schmahl, the greatest takeaway from the program was the self discovery. “I’ve taken plenty of aptitude tests throughout my career, but never anything like the Insights Discovery Profile,” he says. “That, along with the valuable classroom experience with professors and my cohort, allowed me to capitalize on my strengths and understand my weaknesses. On a weekly basis I shared what I learned with my team at JHL and I really let it guide me in how I interact with others both outside and inside our organization.”
In 2010, a year after completing Daniels HPL program, Schmahl was promoted to vice president of JHL Constructors, a role in which he handles new market development, oversees marketing and cultivates client relationships. “I had some very lofty goals out of college when I joined JHL, and the ample opportunity here along with the family culture were the greatest reasons I came here,” Schmahl says.
While the JHL leaders have provided Schmahl with an excellent path for growth, he admits that completing the HPL program when he did—set the stage for his next successful steps. “I’m very fortunate that the leadership at my company invested in me in this way. I believe that the High Performance Leadership program helped me develop as a professional, and reinforced the best ways for me to develop our people and organization overall.”